Two more staffers are reportedly joining a growing exodus out of Vice President Kamala Harris’ office less than a year into her tenure.
Peter Velz, Harris’ director of press operations, and Vince Evans, the vice president’s deputy director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, are expected to vacate their positions in the vice president’s office soon for other positions in the Biden administration, according to The Washington Post.
Velz and Evans’ reported expected departures come just after Harris’ chief spokeswoman, Symone Sanders, announced in a note to the Vice President’s team that she was leaving her post by the end of the year. Sanders did not offer to stick around until her replacement is found and trained.
“I’m so grateful to the VP for her vote of confidence from the very beginning and the opportunity to see what can be unburdened by what has been. I’m grateful for [Harris chief of staff] Tina [Flournoy] and her leadership and her confidence as well,” Sanders wrote in her farewell note to staff. “Every day, I arrived to the White House complex knowing our work made a tangible difference for Americans. I am immensely grateful and will miss working for her and with all of you.”
Flournoy added: “Symone told the VP a couple months ago that she’d be leaving us at the end of the year. I’ve often said about her that no job is too big or too small for Symone.”
Communications director Ashley Etienne filed her resignation from Harris’ team in mid-November. She is expected to leave later this month.
“Ashley is a valued member of the vice president’s team, who has worked tirelessly to advance the goals of this administration,” a White House official stated, “She is leaving the office in December to pursue other opportunities.”
Harris’ team has been wracked by dysfunction during her time in office, mirroring the upheaval that plagued her campaign for president. Harris has also suffered from increasingly poor public approval numbers in recent weeks. The White House has taken steps to publicly defend Harris amid news of her plummeting approval. As The Daily Wire reported:
Amid numerous reports across even the mainstream media that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are at odds and the veep’s aides are disgruntled, the White House is circling the wagons.
As report after report came out on Sunday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki took to Twitter to put the administration’s spin on the saga.
“For anyone who needs to hear it. @VP is not only a vital partner to @POTUS but a bold leader who has taken on key, important challenges facing the country — from voting rights to addressing root causes of migration to expanding broadband,” Psaki wrote on Twitter.
Psaki’s tweet came after a CNN article on Sunday that suggested there was deep “dysfunction” within the vice president’s office. Top Harris staffers jumped in, too.
“It is unfortunate that after a productive trip to France in which we reaffirmed our relationship with America’s oldest ally and demonstrated U.S. leadership on the world stage, and following passage of a historic, bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create jobs and strengthen our communities, some in the media are focused on gossip — not on the results that the President and Vice President have delivered,” tweeted Symone Sanders, who serves as senior adviser and chief spokesperson for the vice president.